"We’re no longer a country that believes in human agency, and as a formerly poor person, I find it incredibly insulting."

From a fascinating interview with J. D. Vance at the American Conservative. (Jump to no conclusions based on the word "conservative.") Vance is one of too few who notice the dark side of the "Don't blame the victim" principle.

Imagine someone you know is a victim of violence, harassment, or other injustice. Being a nice person, you want to help. So you address the person as follows:

1. What is happening to you is unfair.

2. It is not your fault.

3. We should not blame the victim.

4. I must therefore assume you have no power and no responsibility in this situation.

5. So be passive.

6. Let those of us who have agency fix this for you.

Clearly something has gone wrong from Step 1 to Step 6. Sympathy has morphed into contempt.

Vance also has a highly-rated memoir out (which I have yet to read).

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